Tag Archive: Loch Awe
Despite releasing just one single and a short collection of home demos, the Spook School (Adam, Anna, Naomi and Niall) have created a few waves in their home town of Edinburgh.
So much so that we’ve asked them to play The Tidal Wave of Indifference Presents: Numero Trois later this month alongside the Bad Books, Loch Awe and the New Fabian Society at the Wee Red Bar. Their intelligent hooks and fine choruses are a perfect fit for what’s shaping up to be a very exciting night of guitar pop.
We decided to find out what makes them tick and caught a word with singer/guitarist Adam this week.
So who the hell are you?
We’re The Spook School, and there’s four of us.
Describe your sound in ten words or less!
How did you guys get together?
Naomi and I are siblings and have been attempting to write songs ever since Naomi got a guitar. Then I went to uni and met Anna and Niall while attempting to do some silly student comedy. We thought it would be fun to try and make some noise together even though three quarters of us have no idea how to work these things. Miraculously some people seem to be enjoying it.
Interesting band name – how did you happen upon it?
It’s the name of Charles Mackintosh’s wee gang of artist pals. Well, people used to call them that to slag them off. We thought it would be quite cool to re-capture it and kind of change it a bit. Also, I really likes Mackintosh. To the point that I decided to study architecture for a bit at uni, but then they just kept going on about pyramids, and pyramids are boooorriiiing. They’re just big triangles.
Bloggers as gig promoters – discuss!!
Yes please! Some of the best gigs we’ve done have been for bloggers. They’re generally people who actually care about music and in turn want to put on a really good show while also supporting the bands they like. It’s really great. We’ve been lucky not to have any bad experiences with promoters (yet!), but it seems like a really good idea for bloggers to put on stuff just cause they really like music. That should be the only reason anyone puts on gigs really.
What can we expect from your live show?
We sound better live. More of a ramshackle punchy noise. A nice bit of feedback and some singing and shouting. Sometimes we dress up. Sometimes we cover ourselves in glitter. I have a bad habit of bleeding all over my guitar, and Niall will probably get naked. But you can ignore that if you like.
Can we expect to see a full length release soon?
Nope. We’re not ready really. We’re still learning a lot. We do have a very exciting release coming up though. We can’t really believe it’s happening.
If there was such a thing as an ACTUAL Spook School, which famous dead folk would make the best teachers?
Oh wow! Bert Jansch, Marc Bolan, John Lennon, Poly Styrene and Tchaikovsky could do music lessons. That seems like a good mix. Bolan could also teach fashion (cos it would be a hip school that did that kind of thing). Suppose The Four would have to do art & design since the school’s named after them. Picasso could help them out. He seemed like a cool guy. Einstein would do science. Kafka and Oscar Wilde literature classes. And Buster Keaton would do PE. There would be no sports, just falling over, running away from things. This sounds pretty good.
The Spook School play Edinburgh’s Wee Red Bar on June 23 alongside The Bad Books, Loch Awe and The New Fabian Society. You can get tickets HERE and there are Facebook-y things HERE. They probably have some other gigs too, but we’re sure you can forgive us for not being desperately interested in those at the minute. Head over to their website for more info if you’re so inclined, though!
We’ve already been shamelessly hawking this round Facebook and Twitter, so here’s the slightly tardy actual blog puff piece.
The Tidal Wave of Indifference is back on the gig trail! After packing out the Wee Red Bar with PAWS, Edinburgh School for the Deaf and more in February, our third gig is right in the middle of summer, again at our favourite venue in the city. Sod the Euros, sod the beer garden, sod yer holidays, get yer butts down to this, it’ll be awesome!
So what have we got?
From the ashes of Come on Gang! and The Kays Lavelle have come The Bad Books. From low key beginnings, they’ve quickly established a reputation as one of the city’s most exciting live bands. Sounding nothing like Mikey Morrison (guitars) or Graeme Anderson’s (vocals/guitars/synths) previous acts, think of something more like Grandaddy or Modest Mouse. That good. Really.
We’d normally fill this space with a wee Bandcamp excerpt, but as yet, the Bad Books have nothing recorded. Tsk.
As good as Loch Awe’s debut album Artificial Life From a Digital Sea was, the band has changed beyond recognition since its releases, adding Brian (Trapped Mice/ex Last Battle) on guitars and multi-instrumentalist Oliver to the original line-up of Matthew, Joy and Jack. Now aiming for something louder and more expansive, they’ve been recording at Chem19, in preparation for a new release later this year. Expect to hear the results at the Wee Red Bar in June. Here’s a number from their first album, but as we said, they’ve moved on somewhat.
Edinburgh lo-fi indie-pop foursome the Spook School have attracted a gaggle of devoted followers in the short time they’ve been together and released two lovely EPs – they are, without question, the perfect fit for the Tidal Wave of Indifference.
Finally, we’ve also got Glasgow two-piece The New Fabian Society involved. We can’t believe their huge-sounding debut EP Exhibition of Love was created by just two people, but it’s awesome and fans of Bauhaus, Interpol and Echo and the Bunnymen will love these guys. Get down early and show them a lot of love!
Because we’re nice we’re also offering up some nice cheap early bird tickets at £4 over at Brown Paper Tickets. But once these are gone, they’re gone and the standard price will be £6 – still a bargain, I’m sure you’ll agree! It’ll be £7 on the door.
For more information, please email Stu at email@example.com or tweet @stu_lewis.
If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may have picked up that I was on Freshair at the weekend.
For the uninitiated, that’s Edinburgh Uni’s student radio station which has an annual Festival Fringe programme, involving hordes of performing comedians, live music and, most ominously, roping in bloggers to present shows.
And that’s where I come in.
This is my debut effort. Not too bad I think, although I was pretty damn nervous to start with.
It’s not the whole thing sadly, as we only remembered to press record half way through the first of two session tracks from the Last September. You also miss my opening blurb and songs by Loch Awe, Ringo Deathstarr and the Son(s).
Shame. But I’m back on the air 9-10 this Sunday (August 21) - www.freshair.org.uk.
Loch Awe: the third largest freshwater loch in Scotland and also the longest, stretching to 41km over Argyll with an average width of a kilometre (0.62 miles).
Wikipedia-derived Geography lesson over, it’s also a damn beautiful spot in a part of the country, underrated for its scenery. And, it’s leant its name to a bunch of Edinburgh folk types called, uhhhh, Loch Awe.
The band emerged last year and quickly gained critical acclaim for their debut album Artificial Life from a Digital Sea, available to download for absolutely nothing on their Bandcamp page.
Now notionally up to a five piece from key trio Matthew, Jack and Joy, they haven’t played a vast amount of shows as yet, but on record they’ve an instantly familiar air about them, a great addition to the capital’s burgeoning indie folk scene.
Let’s meet them.
So who the hell are you?
We’re Matthew, Joy, Jack, Oliver and Brian. More specifically, I am Matthew. Who the hell are you?
Jerermy Paxman on Xanax. Describe your sound in ten words or less!
A good soundtrack to a local scene c##### j### (censored after deleting the 184th offensive spam comment on this post. Please see ’*’ below for info).
Why Loch Awe? Why not Loch Tay, Loch Ness, or the Lock Inn in Restalrig?
That’s a good question. I don’t have a good answer, so here’s a lie instead: I was abandoned on the shores of Loch Awe when I was a baby. A fisherman found me and, along with his kind wife, raised me as his own. I learned to fish, and soon was building musical instruments from the bones of the fish I caught. It was these instruments with which I wrote the first songs for the band, and so it was only right I name it after the loch where I was found…
You are the Moses of indie folk! How did you guys come together as a band?
Jack and I had been wanting to play together since we met in 2009. When we finally started recording songs we decided we could use another vocalist, so we invited Joy along. Then we stole Oliver from another band to play trumpet and drums. More recently we’ve got Brian on a timeshare with The Last Battle and Trapped Mice [surely making him the hardest working man in Edinburgh's music scene - Ed].
Have you played many gigs so far? Can we expect to see you playing more shows soon?
We’ve only played three shows. Partly because we’re all students and partly because I’m not the most proactive gig-seeker. We love playing shows, I just suck at finding shows for us to play. If we get asked to play more, then you’ll see us.
Any key influences you’d like to flag up?
I can’t speak for any of the others, and I don’t know how much these bands influenced our sound, but I’m inspired by: King Creosote (that voice!), Withered Hand (those words!), Mount Eerie, Why?, Youthmovies, Meursault, Y’all Is Fantasy Island, and loads more.
A whole album available for free – a bold step but not unwelcome. Why did you do it?
Two reasons, really. Firstly it didn’t cost us anything to record it, so why would we charge for it? Secondly it was a business decision, I figure giving this record away for free means we can charge several thousand pounds for the next one. Then again, I never was a great businessman…
What’s next for Loch Awe?
We’re hoping to record some more songs this summer. We wrote and recorded the last album in two weeks, so we’re going to see if we can do this one in a matter of days. That, and more shows. Lots more shows. Probably. And maybe a line of action figures and a comic to accompany LOCH AWE: THE MOVIE, which is something I just made up, but I think definitely needs to happen.
Have a blast of their album’s opening track The Ocean in Me below and go download it for nowt.